from The 7th international symposium on earthworm ecology · Cardiff · Wales · 2002
Vermicomposts are products of a non-thermophilic biodegradation and stabilization of organic materials, by interactions between earthworms and microorganisms.
They are finely-divided, peat-like materials, with high porosity, aeration, drainage, water-holding capacity and microbial activity which make them excellent soil conditioners (Edwards & Burrows 1988; Edwards 1998). Substitution of a range of vermicomposts, produced from cattle manure, pig manure, food wastes, into a commercial soil-less bedding plant growth medium (Metro-Mix 360) in greenhouse experiments, increased the rates of germination, growth and yields of ornamentals, tomatoes and peppers even when all necessary mineral nutrients were supplied (Atiyeh et al. 2000a,b, 2001, 2002).
Recently, our laboratory and greenhouse experiments have shown that vermicomposts contain plant growth regulating materials such as humic acids and plant growth hormones which may be responsible in part for the increased germination, growth and yield of plants (Atiyeh et al. 2002). Moreover, our experiments have demonstrated that vermicomposts can suppress Pythium, Rhizoctonia and Verticillium plant diseases (Chaoui et al. 2002) and plant parasitic nematodes (Arancon et al. 2002). However, experimental investigations into the effects of vermicompost applications on field crop production, have been very few. Our main objective was to investigate the effects of different rates of vermicompost applications on the growth and yield of tomatoes, peppers and strawberries in the field.
Introduction 732 Norman Q. Arancon et al. Pedobiologia (2003) 47, 731–735
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*** from BioSoil Farm – note on the above study… We at BioSoil Farm do not use a worm feedstock comprised of animal manure. While we find no fault with those that do our BioSoil Farm worm feed is all organic, non-manure based.